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Wednesday, November 20. 2013
He was a good student, too. As a result, he opted out of the NFL, and decided the working life was a better career choice. He was a bit tired of the culture of football. He loved it, but it's grinding work. He wanted to use other skills he'd developed. I don't blame him.
As the hiring manager and I spoke, she commented "Well, he has the added benefit of being diverse."
I looked at her and said, "What do you mean, exactly?"
"I think you know what I mean, he's ethnic."
"So he's black. You're telling me this makes him more qualified?"
"No, not more qualified, but you know how things are today. We have to remain conscious of this fact, diversity is so important in the workplace."
"Yes, I agree, it is important. But having me as part of the team doesn't make us more diverse? I'm curious if I'm diverse?"
"Well, you're diverse in terms of thought. You think in ways nobody else here does, but that's not what we focus on in diversity."
"So I'm not diverse?"
"Technically, no. A white male is not diverse, sorry, that's just reality."
"I'm over 50. Does that matter?"
"Sometimes. But not really. That really just means you're more expensive."
Sure, I know this is how things are. Of course I've lived this before, and of course I'm familiar with how "things are today". However, this is a conversation which rarely takes place in the real world. It takes place in the heads of people doing hiring, in the minds of the HR Department at most major firms, or in closed door sessions of executives crafting strategic hiring initiatives to make their company look 'socially aware'.
I was stunned to actually have this conversation. I suppose things being what they are, we're getting past the point of pretending that we're not forced to hire for irrational and not necessarily beneficial reasons like race. I guess we're reaching a point where we are open to admitting that we are forced to hire because of race, either because of
I'd have hired this guy regardless of his "diversity". He showed great potential, and there was no reason to even bring up his "diversity". But in having that discussion, it's just a reminder that, as a white male over 50, I still have so much going for me that the market has to be rigged to work against me.
It's worth noting that I pointed out to this same person, in a separate conversation, that if white men had so much going for them, why have I been unemployed 4 times over the last 20 years, and why hasn't the 'White Men's Club' stepped up each time to help me out, if we all stick together? In reality, I owe 2 of my jobs to a woman who used to work for me, and realizes what I bring to the table. She's been my champion in two separate organizations, the last one we radically transformed from having declining revenues and value into one with rising revenue streams which was sold 7 years later for billions of dollars.
I walk and talk the 'diversity' line. You can't survive today if you fight it. It's worth noting diversity, conceptually, is a very good thing. It should be a concept engaged at every point in a process. We, as individuals, are always better with open minds about things like race, gender, ideas, and best practices. But the whole concept of what it means to be diverse has become utter garbage, with so many ill-informed people buying into a mindset that we must hire for reasons other than those which are strictly business related. Then they wonder why the competitive nature of US companies is in decline.
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I know many people who would have huge job opportunities if they had darker skin.
The lighter-skinned people - and the Asians - have to work extra-hard, and they know it. Life is never fair and never will be.
Nope, it's not.
But I'm not sure how putting policies in place to make it 'more fair' makes it 'more fair' by being less fair. Policies of this nature are codification of unfairness. Without them, any 'unfairness' is arbitrary, and essentially be net zero across the landscape.
Policies like this also discount the value experience and hard work.
I worked extra-hard to find a job, and can still recount stories of ageism that took place. I don't want laws to force companies to hire me, I'm glad I found work because someone valued what I had to offer.
Kind of like 'green' and 'sustainable'...buz words with little real meaning but come with a high price tag.
One wonders how much of a drag on the economy 'diversity" is?
Now much more competitive, efficient and profitable could corporate America be without the diversity ball chained to its leg?
My only disagreement on this is a reasonably simple one. True diversity is a very good and beneficial thing.
That is, you don't want to surround yourself with a bunch of old white guys who simply nod their heads and say "yeah, right boss" and "great idea, boss".
That would be a FAR greater drag on the economy than anything diversity offers.
But true diversity is diversity of thought and opinion. Which MAY be related to skin tone or language or cultural differences. And this brings value.
One of our biggest and most profitable initiatives was one which automated a portion of our Sales Department. I was part of the team putting it together. The fears, the anger, the resentment were massive.
"you're going to do away with salespeople!!!"
Instead, our sales team is more efficient and just as large as it was prior to the implementation of this program. In fact, when the company had a mandatory search for budget cuts of 10% recently, Sales was exempted because of this program.
Had we NOT had a certain TYPE of diversity (thought and action), the implications would have been much more severe.
Diversity - REAL diversity - is a good thing. Arbitrary, enforced, and misguided diversity is a scary and dangerous thing.
I work for a fortune 5 company and we now have an officer level executive position, Chief Performance and Diversity Officer with diversity being the primary focus. This comes of course with a large staff and budget...all 100% waste of money. Actually its impact on businee from hiring and promotion quotas add to that hard cost of the department. And of course companies being as they are with annual performance reviews and five year plans (thats right comrad) and continuous improvement these people are incident to do stuff, new stuff, big stuff, measurable stuff so it just gets continually worse.
When you boil it down it is all, 100%, in opposition to European straight men under the supervision and approval of European straight men.
It is insane!
"I walk and talk the 'diversity' line. You can't survive today if you fight it."
And that's why your descendants will curse your name.
Real change can only be made by those who know how to interact, but are capable of altering the system.
Those who seek revolution from without rarely succeed, and are perceived as a problem.
I'm altering views, successfully, by opening up simple questions on basic issues of diversity. Why am I NOT diverse was my simple question here. The person I had the conversation with must adhere to the company line, so she does. But inherently, she sees the value of my point of view. She has changed, her views have changed, but changing the company won't happen overnight.
I happen to think my descendants will ultimately be pleased with the results.
If all I did was complain about this nonsense, I'd be out looking for another job. Because "diversity" does not tolerate skepticism. True diversity invites skepticism.
'Diversity' sounds so much better than 'Racial Quotas.'
How diverse is your HR Department? Usually HR is 75% or more female, not a particularly diverse percentage.
I agree, how many "diverse" people work in your company's HR department? Is it "diverse"? If the woman you were talking to had to compete for HER job with "ethnic" hires, would she be so enthusiastic about "diversity"? As long as it's someone else---a white male over 50---it's easy for her to be gung-ho over hiring people who let your company check off the box on "diversity."
Very high. But women are 'diverse', whereas men are not.
Remember, I pointed out to this woman, after she'd told me as a white male I had certain advantages, that the "white man's club" didn't help me find a job.
We, as men, are frowned upon when we have men's clubs. Yet WOMEN have lots of clubs in my industry. Oh sure, they invite men to come speak, so they can call themselves 'inclusive', and I could join, if I was so inclined. But I'm not about to join a women's club. If I formed a men's club, even if I allowed women in, you can bet there would be a huge outcry.
It's a bizarre thing, this mindset. It only makes sense if you don't make sense.
It's worth noting diversity, conceptually, is a very good thing. It should be a concept engaged at every point in a process. We, as individuals, are always better with open minds about things like race, gender, ideas, and best practices. But the whole concept of what it means to be diverse has become utter garbage . . . ..
We're becoming a society freighted with layers of arbitrary and self-contradicting social protocols that fewer and fewer people believe but everyone feels obligated to observe; all while learning to minimize the hindrance and damage caused by such compulsory checkpoints. Very Third World.
On the bright side, maybe people are also learning the lesson that where social causes and politics intersect, the face value of a doctrine or law (Diversity!! Sustainability!! Patriot Act!! etc.) isn't where you look first; the first thing you consider is implementation. How It Works defines What It Is, and often you find it's mislabeled.
Bulldog, I read your post and chuckled w sympathy, tho the whole problem is so exasperating. You ought to be able to hire anyone you like, whomever is smartest and most hardworking. End of story.
My main beef with all quota systems is that they discriminate against true talent. Even if someone gifted is t passed over for a more PC candidate, quotas hurt those who wd have made it on their own merits by making people assume they were just quotas.
In addition, we contort ourselves to give preferential treatment to racial minorities except the smarter Asians , Indians and Jews who get discriminated against.
Then we agonize over offending people of every shade of sexual preference (when sex shd be a private matter, do what you like but don't frighten the horses or hurt children).
These are the real endangered species I see in the American workplace:
Men over 50 (many of my female married friends are working to support their unemployed husbands over 50)
Intellectuals (Americans dislike people who seem bookish or too smart)
The disabled and the mentally ill (as the mom of a high functioning kid w a disability I hear more prejudiced language about the disabled by the average American than I ever do about other groups. Because it's considered okay to mock and dis them. They never do it again after saying something near mama Retriever tho!
WASPs, people who are devoutly religious, social conservatives, generally have to camouflage their unfashionable background and views in the workplace these days (at least I do).
And then there's the dread "overqualified". It's so patronizing of a potential employer to decide that someone who has applied for a job of their own free will is "over-qualified". Having a work ethic and wanting to feed one's family supersedes ego.
Those members of my family w jobs in middle age have often had to play down their past education or work experience lest it intimidate a supervisor. This is true for increasing numbers of middle aged people who try to find work after being riffed in favor of trendier young. One applies for anything to feed the family but prospective employers are nervous when the person applying for a clerical job has more education and better experience than the CEO. Being feral themselves, they can't conceive that the applicant wd be grateful for work and has no designs on a boss' job.
So Bulldog, be glad you aren't out there job hunting at your age. Age discrimination is real. Of course we'd all like to work til 80 if we were psychoanalysts or law partners or publishers or commercially successful artists or ran our own companies. But many of us plebs are employees, (or starving writers w day jobs) and once out of work over 55 won't immediately be able to find another good job.
The other problem is that it devalues those who fall into this arbitrary diverse category. It becomes assumed that the diverse got their job because of their diversity rather than their actual merit.
Diversity is another one of those terms that have no intrinsic value in and of itself like 'change'. Diversity and change may be good or bad, depends on the particular example. But terms like diversity and change are tossed about as having some great moral value in and of itself.
If you are a high level manager in a government or semi-governmental organization then you must be diverse. It is more important then succeeding or meeting your organizations goals. If you own your own business your responsibility concerning diversity should be nothing more then not intentionally preventing it. Your goal should be to be successful and continue to work towards your business goals. Unlike a government organization you cannot afford to fail.
.....and after the company hires the "diverse" applicant, the "diverse" employee recognizes that he/she is there, in part, due to his/her "diversity" rather than his/her productivity and the "diverse" employee has little incentive to produce as he/she also learns that playing the "diversity" card will cause the HR department to apologize for being racist and make it virtually impossible to fire the non-productive "diverse" employee.
The leftists' anti-discrimination laws have made it unappealing to hire women, blacks and disabled people for fear of reprisal and accusations of discrimination if and when the "diverse" employee doesn't work out.
Diversity is the new affirmative action. About 10 yers ago I read a study on diversity put out by some supporters. They were surprised by the results and as the researchers put it:
We found that racial and gender diversity do not have the positive effect on performance proposed by those with a more optimistic view of the role diversity can play in organizations—.
In other words, diversity has no benefits for the organization, only costs.
Again, I'll disagree but only in the most reasonable way.
"Diversity" (as I defined it above - the forced imposition of racial and gender goals) is not a benefit. It's a misguided notion which will impose only costs.
DIVERSITY, real diversity, meaning an open mind and a willingness to listen and accept different opinions, ideas, and people, IS a benefit and imposes no costs.
"Diversity" must be overseen and managed and forced. It costs time, money, and causes resentment and discord.
DIVERSITY costs nothing, except a willingness to hire the very best in each role. Which adds value.
"Diversity" is a poorly designed concept.
DIVERSITY is well constructed mindset.
I'm all for DIVERSITY. I love it, actually. Nothing better than a good, fruitful discussion about the pros and cons of anything....including "diversity". But you're not allowed to have a conversation on "diversity". If you do, then you're not being "diverse" enough. Or you are deemed closed-minded.
Which is why I accept "diversity", even as I work against it in my own individual ways.
Michelle Obama was the Diversity Compliance Officer for a Chicago hospital before following her husband to Washington D.C.
Oddly enough when Michelle left that job in 2008, the hospital didn't hire anyone to replace her. The position just faded away.
Diversity is a wonderful thing. It should be considered in hiring and best practices. We love diversity. Diversity is about getting the right mix of races, genders and political, religious and cultural differences in the workplace and throughout society. Diversity is a virtue in and of itself. Diversity is great policy and is THE goal. Competence, profit, concrete accomplishments, efficiency, mission completion, progress and love will be the natural outcome of diversity. I'm sure of it. And as quickly as most of the educated, literate individuals appearing on this site have forgotten what it really means to be unique and valuable individuals; the masses will even more quickly succumb to the lure of completely idiotic but simple ideas like 'diversity'. Alas, survival does now require more than lip service to the political reality. Bulldog is correct about that. Cheers.
Alas, the one thing I think you're incorrect about is "Diversity is great policy and is THE goal."
As personal policy, it's a good thing. As corporate or public policy, it's horrendous. It creates more inequity than it eliminates. It is not THE goal. It is A goal.
Diversity MAY be the natural outcome, but along the way there will be massive losses if it is policy. I've seen it, I've lived it. As policy, it is restrictive, creates divisiveness and questionable behaviors. "Diverse" people often assume they can do what they want BECAUSE they are "diverse" and are therefore protected. To a very large degree, they are correct.
Everything else you wrote is correct. Too often we wrap ourselves up in our individualism and forget that differences are useful and valuable.
But remember one thing - those of us who oppose diversity or "diversity" are just diverse. We're not thinking along the same lines as those who support "diversity", and there is a value to not being part of that mindset in a diverse workplace. Everyone plays a role.
In a diverse workplace, we need people who oppose diversity. Because even a lack of diversity has its value.
I've noticed that diversity only refers to skin color, sex, sexual orientation, and religion or lack thereof. In order to create an inclusive workplace, dissenting points of view are not to be allowed.
Unless, of course, you want to update the Constitution. That would be so diverse.
I've told this story before here on Maggie's, but it's worth repeating.
We had an executive meeting at a previous workplace. We discussed the business, in general, and how to improve it. We led off with a piece from HR on our Diversity Program.
The charts! So many! Yes! We were being successful in becoming diverse! Our ethnic and gender %'s were all in line with the general population, both at the executive level AND the more general worker level. Hooray! But MORE WORK IS LEFT TO BE DONE!
My boss (a woman, thank God) raised her hand. She asked "when will we be done?"
"Well, most projects have benchmarks and levels of success to be achieved. When will we achieve our goals? We're at the average for the country on these items now - are we done? If not, what, exactly, do we need to do?"
"ERMMMM....uh...well you have to understand diversity isn't about ethnicity and gender, but different points of view."
"OK, I get it. But you don't have different points of view on the chart, you have ethnicity and gender. So that's what we're working with. How do we chart out the different points of view? I'm not trying to cause trouble, I'm just wondering how we're going to figure this out."
"Um, well, uh...you see, diversity never stops. It's something you always have to work on."
"I get it, but what are we working on?"
That pretty much ended that portion of the discussion.
Of course, that year they changed executive compensation to be based on achieving DIVERSITY GOALS, rather than business goals. My boss didn't get her bonus. Why? No idea, her department was the most diverse, if you judge it by the charts. My guess is she rocked the boat.
Of course, several people didn't get bonuses that year...and after this happened 3 years in a row, all of them left.
Diversity, it turns out, was used to weed out those who "didn't think right." Because, you know, you gotta think right, and only "THEY" know what right is.
This is the major problem with the larger progressive movement...what is the progressive ultimate objective and when do ever stop this progressing?
I think the answer is total defeat of any alternative point of view, i.e., conservative, religious. Then they'll start eating their own.
The beatings will continue until morale improves. This program is too profitable to some groups to even be ended.